Hello and welcome to the RWBY review. Today, we got the third episode “Of Runaways and Stowaways” on the docket today.
Storywise, this is a Blake story with a bit of Yang in it. Blake’s portion seems similar to Ruby’s in the first episode in that she fights a monster but Sun actually shows up and helps. Blake and Sun seem to have an odd relation that would probably sink their ship. Blake seems antagonistic and annoyed with Sun and this transfers over to the fight where there are several shots where Sun seems like a complete idiot. Sun does manage to convince Blake to let him tag along but the interactions and a bit of the body language seem to indicate that Blake is annoyed and more focused on her real goal: going home probably to talk to family. One thing that doesn’t make sense in this portion of the story is when Blake discards the ribbon; the question i ask at this point is “why didn’t she discard it earlier in the timeskip”. This seems to be an issue with communicating the passing of time after the fall of Beacon.
Yang’s portion of the story is shorter but has one moment that seems counter to her development. Yang is shown to have clear PTSD with losing her arm though this isn’t expressed constantly as she doesn’t get visibly angry when a news report talks about Adam. Yang is also shown to be a bit detached and removed from Taiyang most likely due to her trauma. An issue lies with what Taiyang brings home, a robotic arm from Atlas. This poses some major issues with Yang’s development as it comes in too early in Yang’s story to be a symbol of her having overcome trauma to go after Adam. AT this point, it feels like they are making the impact of losing the arm nonexistent. It would feel like the writers just trying to retcon the arm loss early if it weren’t for the fact that Yang is hesitant to try it on now.
We also have a small part involving Cinder trying to control the Fall Maiden’s power. What should be noted is that Salam is looking for something in Beacon and that Ozpin’s “death” is very uncertain. I can’t really comment on this section as it’s short and has no real payoff this episode.
Animation is still a mixed bag. There are some cases of stiff movements, characters being perfectly still and at least one case of the pose shifting between cuts. On the other hand, Sun and Blake’s character animation has improved with Sun having very large dramatic motions that fit his cocky personality and Blake having a lot of emotional expression from both her face and her ears. One issue I have is the texture on Sun’s tail; it feels like they just copied the texture for Sun’s hair without consideration of how it would looks so it seems unnatural.
The fight scene is fairly standard though I do like the use of a Chinese dragon for the basis of the design. It has moments of dramatic slowdown and does do impact multiplication though the use of aftereffects. In addition, there is a level of comedic execution with how Blake interacts with Sun: jumping on him and dropping him after a catch in particular. Finally, the semblances seem to have evolved with sun being able to have the aura clones do complex coordinated actions and Blake’s shadow clones interacting with her to propel her. This means that semblance evolution may be possible and we may get some interesting fights later down the line.
In general, this show is competent but, in my personal view, if you are an anime fan, this is standard. Nothing has stood out that would outright make this a watch and the scene with Yang may be an omen for writing issues down the line.